I've read a few posters here who claim they feed their snakes until they are sated on any given occasion when they feed them. Is this a good thing to do? I have two snakes that always seem truly hungry after they get their mouse, on the prowl for hours. Might I do better trying this method?
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Called Power Feeding.
It's not good to overfeed. Snakes can become obese.

Some people perform what's called "Power Feeding" to bring younger snakes to breeding size more rapidly. I can't think of this as being anything but detrimental, but I haven't found any documentation that actually proves it.

A prey item the size of the snakes girth once every 5-7 days is all they need to keep them healthy. Larger boids can go up to 2 weeks with larger prey items.
Spit
Thanks, Adam, and my friend Don Alford says the same as you do.

In fact I just wrote a post to Matt SnakeKing who's already eyeing up his month old corns as breeders and admonished him gently not to powerfeed, at least not for that reason. There's a lot more than size/obesity/rapid external growth involved in developing good breeding stock. Evenwe dog breeders know that. Emotion: smile
Called Power Feeding. It's not good to overfeed. Snakes can become obese. Some people perform what's called "Power Feeding" to ... is all they need to keep them healthy. Larger boids can go up to 2 weeks with larger prey items.

Snakes seem so easy to keep, to me. But there seems to be this delicate balance between not enough food and too much food. I think overfeeding is the lesser of two evils (compared to underfeeding). I guess I can see pros and cons to all of it. Maybe I can type them out.
"powerfeeding" pros:
-rapid growth
-snake never goes hungry
-larger adult size
"powerfeeding" cons:
-desire to breed snake before it is really sexually ready -more poop to clean up
-strain on organs from processing large quantities of food

underfeeding pros:
-stunted growth
-cheaper on the feed bill
-less poop to clean up
underfeeding cons:
-hungry snake (possibly *** off snake resulting from this) -withered organs from lack of regular nutrients
-constant state of physical stress resulting in hypersensitivity to other common physical ailments
Can anyone add to these pros/cons lists?
Does anyone have any links to scientific research on results of over or under feeding?
fr0glet
Called Power Feeding.

snip
Can anyone add to these pros/cons lists? Does anyone have any links to scientific research on results of over or under feeding? fr0glet

Well, overfeeding an animal is like a human overeating. Try fatty organs, diabetes, and agrivated circulatory and respritory conditions. Obesity can also lead to hormonal problems. A lot of what can happen is most likely not fully studied either, fr0glet. Underfeeding on the other hand is a more natural state. Snakes may go hungry for long periods because of lack of prey or failure to catch what prey there is. Only extreme weight loss should harm the animal, I would think. Also remeber this, snakes are designed to glut and starve as a cycle.
Personally, I would err to the underfeeding side because of the documented health issues related to overfeeding.
Chad
Well, overfeeding an animal is like a human overeating. Try fatty organs, diabetes, and agrivated circulatory and respritory conditions. Obesitycan ... a cycle. Personally, I would err to the underfeeding side because of the documented health issues related to overfeeding. Chad

Me too, and as a matter of fact, when I got my boa 17 years ago, the guy I got him from seriously warned me about overfeeding and showed me an obese snake he'd taken in, and as a result I've been underfeeding ever since, not really on purpose, but making sure I didn't feed too much. I have a very slim snake. No bones showing though. And she's never grouchy or snappy.

Cindy
Well, overfeeding an animal is like a human overeating. Try fatty organs, diabetes, and agrivated circulatory and respritory conditions. Obesitycan ... a cycle. Personally, I would err to the underfeeding side because of the documented health issues related to overfeeding. Chad

Something worries me about what you say.
During our reptile growth spurts I've noticed that length rather than weight is put on.
Who's to say that our 8ft burm, in his juvenile, dustbin, aggressive stage is being overfed because he is given one or more large rats every few days rather than weeks. In the wild his (and other animals) survival prospects increase proportionally with size and the speed with which he achieves adulthood.
Rather than globally underfeeding our menagerie, we try to balance snake's temper/age/body size for obvious obesity and ration food accordingly.

Ned
Something worries me about what you say. During our reptile growth spurts I've noticed that length rather thanweight is put ... than globally underfeeding our menagerie, we try to balance snake's temper/age/body size for obvious obesity and ration food accordingly. Ned

Ned, with all due respect, I don't agree w/ you. This is one of those topics that is easily converted to "in the wild". Our snakes aren't in the wild and produces a mute argument.
In actuality, in the wild, the snake doesn't have opportunities for consecutive feed items. The most common form of power feeding is multiple prey items in one feeding, where you allow the snakes "feeding mode" to take over and you turn the feed session into gluttony.
I'm not saying it doesn't occur (as in the case of a lucky attack rats nest or bird nest), I'm saying that it is less common, more often than not.

Additionally, our snakes aren't burning the calories or have the exercise opportunities that snakes "in the wild" do.
Spit
I've read a few posters here who claim they feed their snakes until they are sated on any given occasion ... seem truly hungry after they get their mouse, on the prowl for hours. Might I do better trying this method?

Nope. It's been demonstrated repeatedly that many reptiles will feed until they puke. This suggests that in reptiles generally a feeding response is not tightly correlated with hunger or the ability to healthily consume a prey item. Claiming that continued feeding is OK so long as a snake continues to exhibit a feeding response is like saying that because some undergrads are eager to drink until they pass out means that it must be healthy for them.
Patrick Alexander
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